Postage to Vote by Mail Called a Poll Tax

By Maria Boynton | WVEE | April 8, 2020

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It involves a 55 cent postage stamp, but no-matter the amount, it's being called "unconstitutional".

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia's March 24th Presidential Primary was postponed until May 19th. The pandemic makes voting in-person questionable.

Voters are now receiving applications via mail to receive absentee ballots to vote. Sean Young, Legal Director for the ACLU of Georgia says they are finding that voters have to buy stamps to return both the application and the absentee ballot.

ACLU Georgia has filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Georgia on behalf of Black Voters Matter Fund. They are challenging the state requiring voters to pay postage to mail ballots. "It's an unconstitutional barrier to the sacred right to vote" says Young,. He adds that requiring voters to buy postage stamps when submitting mail-in absentee ballots and mailing in absentee ballot applications is tantamount to a poll tax.

According to Young, because the coronavirus pandemic has made it unrealistic for most, if not all, voters to cast ballots in-person, "the state is essentially forcing voters to pay in order to participate in our democracy."

The poll tax was outlawed after being used for decades to keep blacks from voting.

(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton /RADIO.COM)